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Movie Interloper

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    This discussion on visualization brings up an interesting point: there are a myriad of perspectives and a myriad of ways of reacting to any particular film.
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 1, 2003
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      This discussion on visualization brings up an interesting point: there
      are a myriad of perspectives and a myriad of ways of reacting to any
      particular film. One person on the list reacts one way, another person
      reacts in an entirely different way.

      Here is how my mind reacts (whether I want it to or not). To give an
      illustration, I'm a Star Trek fan. I've seen all the Star Trek movies.
      There were 2 different versions of both Star Trek: The Motion Picture
      and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I know each version very well. When
      I watch the revised movies, my mind insists on pointing out, whether I
      want it to or not, where changes were made. Therefore, though I enjoy
      the revised versions, watching them will never be a "smooth" experience,
      because there's a "bump" whenever a change in the original versions
      comes in.

      It's the same with the Peter Jackson films. I know Tolkien's Lord of the
      Rings text so well, there's always a "bump" whenever Jackson deviates
      from it. The first time I watched PJFR, it was a very bumpy ride. Since
      then, I've grown used to the bumps, and the experience is much less
      wrenching for it.

      In other words, for me, there will never be any danger in the movie
      intruding on the books. My mind simply doesn't work that way. It
      separates them definitively whether I want it to or not.

      One reason that I remain keenly interested in Peter Jackson's films is
      that it helps with visualization. In my view: Hobbiton was exactly
      right. Gandalf is exactly right. The Balrog was impressive (and I'm of
      the "wingless
      balrog" persuasion). My mind reacts to the movies by bringing me back to
      the books (as in Jackson did it this way, but I remember Tolkien did it
      this way) and therefore I recollect the books every time I see the film.
      That's not such a bad thing.

      I also wish to add that I thought that Sauron's depiction at the start
      of the film worked well for me. It didn't spoil or diminish my notion of
      Sauron as evil in the least. After all, he WAS there: he killed Elendil
      and Gil-galad. And he had to be SEEN in order for Isildur to cut the
      ring from his finger.

      In The Silmarillion, the words "And Morgoth came" nearly made me jump
      with fright. His coming on stage in that scene (where he kills
      Fingolfin, I believe) and in the scene where Luthien faces him didn't
      diminish his evilness to me, either.

      Another matter of perspective: Different people have
      different ideas as to what constitutes being "true" to the books. Many
      people who worked on the films say that they believe that they were true
      to the books, in form and in spirit. We may disagree, but they believe
      it. David B. mentioned an instance of how an adult and a nine-year-old
      reacted differently to the books, and theorized that Jackson's view was
      closer to the nine-year-old's in the example. Others may differ in how
      "true" to the books the film has to be, to be acceptable to them. Some
      viewers may be satisfied if the film contains only a small part of the
      original; others may wish for the film to reflect a larger portion. This
      may explain why so many loved the film unreservedly.

      Makes for interesting discussion, anyway.

      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • David S Bratman
      ... I have the same bumps . For years, I felt a bump in reading Chapter 8 of _The Hobbit_, because I first encountered the book read aloud to my school
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 1, 2003
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        At 06:50 PM 1/1/2003 -0600, Joan wrote:

        >It's the same with the Peter Jackson films. I know Tolkien's Lord of the
        >Rings text so well, there's always a "bump" whenever Jackson deviates
        >from it. The first time I watched PJFR, it was a very bumpy ride. Since
        >then, I've grown used to the bumps, and the experience is much less
        >wrenching for it.
        >
        >In other words, for me, there will never be any danger in the movie
        >intruding on the books. My mind simply doesn't work that way. It
        >separates them definitively whether I want it to or not.

        I have the same "bumps". For years, I felt a "bump" in reading Chapter 8
        of _The Hobbit_, because I first encountered the book read aloud to my
        school class, and I was sick the day that chapter was read. Naturally, by
        this measure watching a Jackson film is like tearing down a washboard road
        at 80 mph. And it doesn't get smoother.

        But that's how I react watching the film. It says nothing about whether
        the movie intrudes on the books. And it does. I don't mind the images of
        the Jackson film as much as those of the Bakshi film, fortunately.

        >I also wish to add that I thought that Sauron's depiction at the start
        >of the film worked well for me. It didn't spoil or diminish my notion of
        >Sauron as evil in the least. After all, he WAS there: he killed Elendil
        >and Gil-galad. And he had to be SEEN in order for Isildur to cut the
        >ring from his finger.

        It doesn't make Sauron any less evil: it diminishes his threat to be, as
        Sparkplug put it, a tubby guy in a Sauron suit.

        >Another matter of perspective: Different people have
        >different ideas as to what constitutes being "true" to the books. Many
        >people who worked on the films say that they believe that they were true
        >to the books, in form and in spirit. We may disagree, but they believe
        >it.

        They believe it, but they're wrong. This is not a matter that can be laid
        down to opinion: they're wrong.

        - DB
      • disneylogic <disneylogic@yahoo.com>
        On Wed, 01 Jan 2003 23:31:12 -0800 David S Bratman wrote in part: [snip] ... So, Dave, you disagree with Tom Shippey, then, in his review of a
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 2, 2003
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          On Wed, 01 Jan 2003 23:31:12 -0800 David S Bratman
          <dbratman@s...> wrote in part:

          [snip]

          >They believe it, but they're wrong. This is not a matter
          >that can be laid down to opinion: they're wrong.

          >- DB

          So, Dave, you disagree with Tom Shippey, then, in his review of a
          sort?
          (Already referenced here, but see

          http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jht
          ml;$sessionid$QVAPP2BCCH1YRQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml
          =/opinion/2003/01/02/do0201.xml&sSheet=/portal/200
          3/01/02/por_right.html)

          If LOTR is that specific--that is specific enough to be able to make
          these judgments without question--I wonder how it can succeed in
          being such evocative myth?

          --jtg

          [snip]
        • David S. Bratman
          ... Not really, no. Shippey spends most of his article discussing differences, and concludes that the message survives the change of medium. By message he
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 3, 2003
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            At 03:29 PM 1/2/2003 , jtg wrote:
            >On Wed, 01 Jan 2003 23:31:12 -0800 David S Bratman
            ><dbratman@s...> wrote in part:
            >
            >>They believe it, but they're wrong. This is not a matter
            >>that can be laid down to opinion: they're wrong.
            >
            >So, Dave, you disagree with Tom Shippey, then, in his review of a
            >sort?

            Not really, no. Shippey spends most of his article discussing differences,
            and concludes that "the message survives the change of medium." By message
            he means the necessity of courage; and "survive" does suggest that it gets
            through against all odds.

            What I said was wrong was the statement that the films are "true to the
            books, in form and in spirit." That's a mighty broad statement, and I've
            read what the filmmakers have actually said, in detail. They believe they
            accomplished something a lot truer to Tolkien than letting a basic broad
            message survive the transition. That's what they're wrong about.

            >If LOTR is that specific--that is specific enough to be able to make
            >these judgments without question--I wonder how it can succeed in
            >being such evocative myth?

            I don't see how the evocative quality of LOTR - that is, its ability to
            make you think of other things - is at all limited by the simple question
            of whether a film translation is true to the book.


            - David Bratman
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